Alright folks, let’s get a few things straight.
Today is September 20, 2014.
We are approximately three days away from the beginning of the Autumnal season.
I am twenty-nine years of age.
You are whatever age you currently are.
This is where I am sitting:
Everything is both beautiful and terrible. Everything is both unadulterated brilliance and unmitigated bonkerness.
Everything just is.
Sometimes, whenever I start to get really down by all of the fuckery that seems to dominate our world’s discourse (not to mention actions!), I just really try and focus on all the amazing, beautiful, and breathtaking things and events of which I am privileged enough to both behold and partake.
And sometimes, I just think about the quiet world of my early morning, pre-work runs.
When the sky is a mottled blend of purples, pinks, greens, and blues.
When the sky is the most beautiful bruise.
I run down along the boardwalk with my heart in my throat, and my tears in my eyes. My legs feel as though they are six miles long, and my arms pump, just like my blood pumps, and everything feels right and strong.
And I know that I am flying.
Sometimes I feel silly and trite writing again and again what it feels like to run. How propelling myself forward as hard and as fast as I possibly can brings on such infinite joy.
But I can’t.
Just like running itself, I cannot stop.
I cannot swallow these words.
They are a compulsion.
They are a joy
Work has been a little batty of late (50+ hour weeks), spent zipping about like zipping things (zippers!!).
However, seeing as though my fellow colleagues are gentlewomen and squires of the highest order, I cannot bring myself to complain.
The fact that I am passionate beyond a thought about my job and the work that I do is, of course, another boon.
However, this is not to say that we can’t have a great laugh at our own expense, especially in the lead-up to a very large event, of which we have been working on since March.
Case in point:
I, like we all, have the capacity to be a grumpy cat.
Hence, I am actually grumpy cat.
I do, but barely.
And this leaves me feeling a little melancholy.
Because movies used to mean so much. They used to mean so much to me.
I recall the first movie that I ever saw in a theatre.
Beauty and the Beast was everything a movie should be (in my very discerning six year old mind). It was funny and scary. There was a beautiful, brilliant, strong female lead who loved to read and who wouldn’t take crap from all the ridiculous idiots who populated her “provincial town.” She, rightly, loathed Gaston, and held her own when it came to The Beast’s infantile temper tantrums.
In truth, it’s probably the only Disney princess flick I’ll ever be okay showing my future kidlets (but that’s another post for another time.)
I am fairly certain it was my nanny Suzanne who took me to the movie, and it was her gift to me on my sixth birthday. We went to the old (and now sadly demolished) Capital Six, back when Granville Street was in its full grunge-tastic glory.
The first “grown-up” movie I ever watched in theatres was when Shona Langmuir, Patricia Beckerman (aka “The Girls”), and I went and saw The First Wives Club when we were in grade five.
Note: please let me emphasize the term “theatres” in the above sentence. My family were rather lax when it came to flicks seen by us kids, and we were viewing adult movies at a very, very early age. I remember watching the Fugitive on Easter Monday in grade two.
Nothing like collecting a bunch of chocolate eggs and then sitting down as a family to watch Harrison Ford clear his name!
But I digress. Holy damn did I ever dig The First Wives Club. Sure I didn’t get a lot of the jokes, and the scene where Brenda eats dinner by herself absolutely destroyed me. But it didn’t matter. It was three women who loved each other, out in the world, kicking ass and taking names.
Too this day I re-watch it at least once a year.
You don’t own me!
Looking at both this film and Beauty and the Beast would you say that there seems to be a pattern emerging as to the type of movie that really resonated with my younger self?
Oh to be that wide-eyed, bushy-tailed, newly emerging feminist!
There are so many more movies that, collectively, with the thousands of books, songs, and other miscellaneous artistic detritus that I’ve encountered and loved along the way, have helped inform who I am as a young woman today.
For instance: I LOVE Forrest Gump.
Next time you see me, ask me to quote the entire movie. I will do this for you.
I also love Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and A Fish Called Wanda, and I will always adore Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
I saw Amelie in grade eleven with my first boyfriend and spent the entire summer pretending to be her.
I adore Kieślowski’s Three Colours trilogy. My favourite of the three films being the darkest and most brilliant black comedy of all time, “Blanc.”
I will go to my death extolling the cinematic virtues of The Big Lebowski. For me, nothing will ever be funnier than this brilliant pieces of the Coen Brothers subconscious. I quote it all of the time and there are total parts of my and Marc’s vernacular made up solely by movie lines. I can also never look at a bowling alley the same way again.
I love dramatic films as much as I do comedy, however I just am never one to really revisit these masterpieces, and as such they don’t influence my life to the degree as my favourite comedies.
And it’s not as though these two genres cannot exist simultaneously. In no uncertain terms are they are not mutually exclusive concepts.
It just takes one hell of a filmmaker to pull this off.
(Like the Coen Brothers.)
But isn’t movie watching also so much about the experience? The memory of that time spent in the theater? Where you were? Who you were with? Where you were in your life?
Probably one of my most cherished movie related memories is from the first few months of Marc’s and my courtship. Only four months into what is now an eleven year love affair, the two of us went to see Love Actually on a dark, went and very cold Vancouver November afternoon.
I had spent the night at his place and, because I was in my weird “only skirts, no pants” phase, I was wearing a pair of his cords because I didn’t have a clean pair of tights. They were absolutely huge, and I looked a bit of a sight. We had spent the morning at a community theatre on the Westside where I auditioned for a part in an upcoming play (spoiler: I didn’t get the part!), and then had bussed downtown. Arriving at the theatre (also the Capital Six!), we ran up the escalator so we wouldn’t be late for the previews.
I so wish I could properly communicate how much I felt watching that movie, sitting next to the man (the boy!) for whom I felt so, so, so strongly.
My body completely electric as I held his hand, I laughed at Bill Nighy’s amazing portrayal of Billy Mac and felt my heart break and break and break for Emma Thompson.
I just loved it.
I hate that I am even typing this, but for me, at that moment in my life, love truly was all around.
But it’s true.
And that’s why movies matter.
And why, despite the fact that I never go to the theatre anymore, and I only use my Netflix to watch old episodes of QI and MI5, I’ll never let them go.
I couldn’t even if I tried.